The Subject of My Desire

First, I want to thank whoever sent me such a nice message on SurveyMonkey. I know you said that you didn’t need a response, but I still want to thank you. It is nice to know that we’re not alone in our home purchasing struggles. Camaraderie during this process is incredibly nice. Also, I’m glad that my openness about my health and fitness journey has been beneficial to you as well. To be honest, it is difficult not to only talk about that because it is such a big part of my life right now. I’m not turning this or my Instagram into “fitness only” but I will continue to update with progress, struggles, photos, and my thoughts when I want.

Anyway, thank you so much and I’m really happy that my request for deeper connections is bearing fruit. I think I’ll do weekly summary blog posts about the intimate and mundane in hopes that it will plant seeds for private discussions with friends and strangers.

Now, onto my normal blog post.


“Remember that it’s not only the desire for wealth and position that debases and subjugates us, but also the desire for peace, leisure, travel, and learning. It doesn’t matter what the external thing is, the value we place on it subjugates us to another… where our heart is set, there our impediment lies.” – Epictetus, Discourses, 4.4.1-2; 5

The problem isn’t what we want, it is that we want it. The desire for things outside of our own control is a slave-master and a roadblock to happiness and fulfillment. I don’t know where the line is drawn between the healthy pursuit of things and an unhealthy craving or desire. Maybe it is about recognizing the journey and the impossibility of a destination. I can develop healthy habits to grow stronger and healthier but if I allow the end goal to be my drive then it becomes a craving.

There are so many things I want and would like to experience… a six-pack, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, writing books, traveling the world, being debt free, doing DMT… but when I strive after binary things then I reject the fluidity of life where true beauty and meaning lies. If I associate my identity with a task, with an end goal, then what happens to my identity when I reach it? Instead of wanting a “thing” I think it is better to develop a process.

Instead of a desiring a six-pack I become someone who exercises regularly and eats well. Instead of desiring to publish a book I become someone who writes daily and works to improve my communication skills. I am in control of the process, but not the result. At least that’s my reflection on today’s stoic passage.


Wanna stay in touch? Got a question for me? Want to tell me why I’m wrong and are curious how I got everything so backward? Have an idea for a blog post? Drunk and wanna send me a snapchat? Wanna become penpals and send each other letters in the mail?

Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!

Email address: pjneiger@gmail.com
Instagram: @peterneiger
Questions:  pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Snapchat: @pneiger
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/user/show/5292148
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”